Mendix on Tour: A Snapshot of Digital Transformation in Toronto
Toronto is a growing hub of business innovation, and finance and insurance companies in the area are thriving with digital advancements. Not only do the well-established corporations such as TD bank, Manulife, and RBC attract a great crowd of innovators and digital disrupters, but also the large presence of fast growing start-ups.
With Mendix enabling hundreds of insurance and financial services organizations to digitally transform and differentiate, we organized our first Mendix On Tour in Downtown Toronto at the end of April. The event exceeded all expectations and was a great success! For those who weren’t able to attend, we would like to share with you what we learned.
Over a dozen companies participated and shared their goals, challenges, and visions for how they can keep up with the growing demand for delivering innovative web and mobile initiatives.
Some of the central themes discussed include:
- Transformation to direct-to-consumer and engagement models
- Increased operational efficiency
- Launching new products for new segments
- Core ITs enablement of the business to disrupt the status quo
It is interesting to note that almost everyone that attended was familiar with Gartner’s bimodal IT concept, recognizing that traditional development practices are no longer sufficient for organizations with growing enterprise application demand.
The surprising thing was that people weren’t aware that the real drivers behind bimodal IT are often the Enterprise Architects and innovative IT leaders. Many people figured that the growing interest for Mode 2 was driven by digital transformation and innovation business leaders. We see that this is just one part of the equation. It truly is a joint effort by both business and IT leaders.
During a demo and presentation, we highlighted a few unique value drivers tackling the specific challenges of our customers, such as having;
- An app store to increase sharing and time to market
- A true enterprise architecture and deployment framework based on Cloud Foundry for easy scaling and data transportability
- Support for the complete ALM with visual models for true business and IT Collaboration
For the second half of the afternoon, Rob Bartholomew, the First Vice President of Strategic Technology Solutions and Employee Benefits at Alliant Insurance Services, spoke about his journey to evaluate the aPaaS market. He was looking to find a solution for enabling the business to rapidly deliver unique applications, increasing operational efficiency and customer/broker engagement. Rob explained clearly why Mendix was chosen as the preferred solution because of the incredible ROI, partnership engagement, enablement, openness of the platform, and time-to-market.
Rob presented a great demo of the first few projects Alliant built on the Mendix platform, such as optimizing client onboarding on top of Salesforce and their core broker system. The demos made everyone excited to start working on their own apps.
It was great to see people interacting with each other and fueling conversations based on their personal experiences and goals. The reactions afterward, during a Whiskey tasting, were overwhelming and very positive.
Here is what a few organizations had to say:
“[The event] definitely exceeded my expectations. I really enjoyed the customer viewpoint provide by Alliant. Seeing the actual applications that were built [by Mendix] is very compelling.” – Director of Enterprise Architecture at Ivari
“I liked how the event was intimate, where we all felt comfortable to share our experiences and success stories without feeling like we were being oversold!” – RSA Canada
The Mendix team had a great time with all our friends in Toronto and the excitement, interest, and engagement level during the day makes us eager to come back and do another session soon!